Google Maps now has the digital archive the Northeastern Japan earthquake and tsunami affected areas. "Today, we're making good on that promise--after driving more than 44,000 kilometers through the affected regions, 360-degree panoramic imagery of those areas is now available through the Street View feature in Google Maps," revealed Google.
The images can also be viewed via a website called "Build the Memory," where you can easily compare before and after shots of the towns changed by these events.
"A virtual tour via Street View profoundly illustrates how much these natural disasters have transformed these communities. If you start inland and venture out toward the coast, you'll see the idyllic countryside change dramatically, becoming cluttered with mountains of rubble and debris as you get closer to the ocean. In the cities, buildings that once stood proud are now empty spaces," notes Google.
Google says "In the bottom left corner of each image you'll also see a month and year that tells you when a particular photograph was taken. When looking at images of the magnificent cities side-by-side with images of the ruins left in their place, this additional context demonstrates how truly life-changing this tragedy has been for those who live there and witnessed the destruction of their homes, neighborhoods and even entire districts. This timestamp feature has been the most requested Street View feature for the last few years, and it is now available on Street View imagery worldwide. Professionals such as historians, architects, city planners and tourism boards--as well as regular users including travelers and home-buyers--can now get a sense of how fresh the online photos are for a locations that interests them."
Google has also announced that the first "48 screen Liquid Galaxy" is now on display in Paris. This project was a close collaboration between Google and Le Pavillon de l'Arsenal, as well as technology JCDecaux, End Point and design partners ultranoir.
In a blog post Pierre Lebeau, Product Manager promises to open source the Liquid Galaxy:
"Over the next few months we'll be fully open sourcing this work on Liquid Galaxy, as well as the graphical interface. Keep an eye out on our source code page for updates," said Lebeau.
"What started as a 20% project to support the new Google Cultural Institute resulted in a stunning display of the Earth in almost 100M pixels - powered by 48 instances of Google Earth synchronized and operated through 4 multi-touch screens with pinch and zoom functionality. The view is even sharper due to a refresh of the entire Paris area with higher resolution imagery," blogged Lebeau.
Here is a video demonstration:
Also, a new 45° imagery update in Google Maps, is now available for 21 more cities of the Unites States. "Viewing 45° imagery can make the map much more fun and informative by enabling you to see a tilted aerial perspective of some of your favorite spots. "
Here is a list of updated cities:
Albuquerque (west), NM; Benton, AR; Boulder, CO; Eldridge, IA; Boston (east), MA; Centennial (south), CO; GooglePlex, CA; Indianapolis (south), IN; Las Vegas Strip, NV; Montgomery (outskirts), AL; Olathe, KA; Petaluma, CA; Tulsa, OK